I'm based in the UK but any help would be grateful.
I'm recently in a small war with a client. basically she ordered a 2 tier double barrel cake from me for her mothers 60th birthday, she also stated that the cake was going to be driven from London to another part of England, which would be about a 4 hour drive.. I told her it would be ok, as i would ensure that it is dowelled sufficiently along with a central dowl. I told it would be ok, also based on me driving with tiered cakes for events and clients also collecting tiered cakes from me.
In the afternoon, i drove 25 minuted to deliver the cake to her, before she made the journey.
Anyway she hadn't even reached her destination, and part of the bottom had collapsed. There were a lot of emails going back and forth and in the she had no cake for this event, so i said that i would remake and drive it to her. she declined and informed me that she found someone local to make her the cake with on 24hrs to the event.
She requested a full refund, of which I declined, the incident didn't warrant a full refund so i offered her 25%, then increased it to full refund as i was suffering really bad migraines.
I was so worried that a friend started doing some research and came to find that on the day she wanted the cake for and in the location she said she was going to with her partner, she had infact got married , I saw the video and I was so angry tbh
After that last email, i heard nothing of her for about 10 days...just radio silence. On her return she had the nerve to tell me she brought some of the cake to work and everybody loved it, and also on that day it was ideal weather to drive 4 hours with a cake (was one of the hottest days in London)
I just told her that I had sent her 50% refund and the matter was settled.
Received an email saying that the cake was for her mothers birthday, and that she would seek to take me to court to claim the balance of £100.
I'm absolutely miffed what i did wrong here. Yes part of the cake was damaged, I've given her partial refund of %50, she ate that cake, i wasn't in charge of the driver of the vehicle, nor in-charge of how they travelled with the car in the back seat, not in control of the weather.
I'm only a start up business and barely make money from cakes at the moment.
I have attached pic of the cake 10 minuted before it was delivered, and the other image is of it 1 hour into the journey
Some advice would be greatly appreciated with thanks
That cake has been mangled! Oh my! Looks like the support failed, but I suppose that would happen when someone DROPS the cake. There are so many "bruises" on that cake....I don't see how it was baker fail....that was driver/carrier FAIL.... Sorry to see this :( Beautiful cake!
I am in the US, so no help for you, but I do have a clause in my contract that states once the cake leaves my hands, I am no longer responsible for the condition of the cake. They could have paid for delivery. Yes, pricey being a 4 hr trip, but the cake would have made it safely.....
How did it get those gashes in the top? Looks to me like it hit something, rather than collapsed by itself.
If she does take it to court you'll need to keep things relevant and to the point - not sure what difference it makes being a wedding or a birthday. What did you have in writing regarding the cake, delivery, transport etc? Small claims court would want to see that. Also bear in mind that she'll have to pay the better part of £100 to take it to court with no guarantee of winning, so I'd guess it's unlikely to happen on purely financial grounds. Vindictiveness is a different question! They'll probably look favourably on you giving a partial refund (providing you didn't say anything that makes them think it ought to have been a full one!) and on offering to deliver a replacement in time for the event.
It is very hard to prove things in court - at least here in the US. I wouldn't worry too much about her threats. You already gave a suficient amount of refund. Yes, she can throw all kinds of threats and probably do some damage on the internet but you really can't do much, if anything about it.
Well I've been so upset by it that I didn't notice the marks on the cake, and was focusing on the collapse. When my mentor saw it, she said straight away that someone has tampered with it.
This order has really caught me off guard, because I normally send a contract of terms to the client, but I didn't for this client, so basically there is no contract. All correspondence is on email.
All i know is that the cake was put on a plank on the back seat, that's when I left. So I have no idea as to whether they supported the cake or just left it alone on the plank to slide about freely.
I'm just finding it hard to contemplate why she is so adamant on a full refund, and will take me to court (if she does) to recover the balance of the %50 i had already paid her
Do I reply to her with a take me to court email and I will defend and counter claim for unreasonable requests, harassment and emotional stress.
The thing is, they actually ate the cake, so is she taking the pizz ?
i don't have anything additional to say really -- i'm just sorry this happened -- sorry you have to go through it --
so i'm thinking you charge more for a wedding cake than for birthday cakes or something as to why you are miffed about that really being her wedding? i mean a 60th birthday cake without an inscription is kinda strange all by itself huh.
i'm curious how did you apply the gold?
so one hour into the trip -- they stop somewhere -- go inside -- unbox the cake -- take a picture and continue on their way? that's weird too
Well i didn't know it was for a wedding, I was suspicious at the time of ordering because i asked her if she wanted any wordings or a message put on the cake, and she didn't reply to me until 5 emails later, to say "no" she already has something.
Exactly, a 60th birthday cake for her mother with no inscription....anyway..
Applied gold leaf transfer sheets, by lightly steaming the fondant, then painted it all with gold luster as some of the sheets were not adhering to the fondant
Cake was beautiful!! So sorry that this happened to you. It appears that this was the driver's fault not yours. You have nothing at all to feel guilty about. Looks like driver mishap. It does appear that something smashed into the cake. You should always have it in writing that once cake leaves you that you are not responsible for cake any longer. Hang in there and move on.
your gold is ridiculously beautiful -- all those lines on the top tier is weird and that the top tier is not smooshed where it hit the box is weird -- it is clearly leaning enough to hit the side of the box -- idk --
hope you don't get any more headaches -- of any kind!
Thank you remnant333, its been really tough for my anxiety, I've been so down as this client just wont let go and seems to think she is due a full refund.
k8memphis - thank you re: gold finish.. I know right...regarding whip marks idk either
aww :( and It looked good!!! I am sorry darling
Im so Sorry your going through this. I always tell my clients how to drive careful with the cake and that once it leaves me im not liable for damage to the cake. To me it looks like they stopped to fast and the cake fell. Or maybe it got dropped?
You are very nice to offer a 50% discount I wouldn't! I hope this never happens again, but if it does maybe tell them for a full refund you need 100% of the cake back. Eating the cake than asking for your money back is not acceptable. That's like going to a restaurant and saying the food was horrible so you want a refund after you ate it all. Doubt they would give it to you!
I have had a cake fall from not enough support. The top tier stayed in great condition and the bottom had bulging damage. I don't see how the top tier could get that damaged from lack of support. Even if it hit the box. I don't think your at fault at all. Do you put a center dowel in? I always do just Incase. Good luck.
I'm rather sure this damage is not from support problems but transport problems or it was dropped.
As kakeladi said, this cake appears to have been dropped. The top tier almost looks as though it has been tied with a string?? You have refunded 50%, which seems more than fair. Ignore her.
Shanelly , Kakeladi, Sandra smiley
Thanks everyone, I'll send one more email to her and i guess I'll wait to see if i served with court summons, then I'll put her on a spam list. Its too stressful
Yes I did put in a centre dowel, I too am unclear on why the cake has so many slash marks. I need my life back.